Chris Boucher has admittedly been guilty of jacking up shots while in games and has taken his fair share of criticism for it. However, the 29-year-old learned a lot about himself in the 2021-22 campaign and opened up about how that influenced his turnaround. Listen to the full episode on the 'Hustle Play' podcast feed or watch on our Yahoo Sports Canada YouTube.
Photo credit: Louis Eng
MIKE ROACH: How do you think you've changed from the beginning of the season till now? Not even necessarily from a basketball standpoint, just you as a human.
CHRIS BOUCHER: It helped holding my-- like. I mean, I'm more mature. And I think I am able to see the other side of the metal because before it was just how I see it. You don't play me, that's all because of this. You know what I'm saying? I don't make shots, it's because of this. Everything was about what Chris wants.
And then this year, I had to learn that-- I had to learn that, first of all, basketball is a team sport. So you got to think about your team. All right. You know, I always was a good teammate, but I was always thinking about myself, too. And now I know what it is to have a team and being through the ups and down and not being so much about the moment, you know?
Like, let's say I didn't play well. And usually, I'll be like, fuck this, fuck that. You know, now it's more-- OK, I mean, I had a bad game. What can I do better? And not make it go to the next day. And that's just something that I used to do when I was-- when I had nothing.
And that's probably one of the best thing I did is going back to the Chris that had nothing. So now I'm grateful to have-- with everything. Because when I had nothing, I was still grateful about just being able to be alive. And now, it's like little thing bothers you and you just want to start acting like, oh, this, this, and that. No, I'm going back to old Chris when it didn't bother me at all.
MIKE ROACH: Now, we saw how you made that change to become a different player.
CHRIS BOUCHER: Yeah.
MIKE ROACH: Right? Did you think that was something you'd ever have to do?
CHRIS BOUCHER: No. I thought I was gonna be a sharpshooter. I thought I was gonna be Kyle Korver for the Raptors. Just, I'm coming over there. You put me in the game. I'm shooting 3's. And that's what I thought I was gonna do. And then I went to Tampa. And I was lights out. So I'm like, oh, this is what I'm doing. And then came back here. And I don't know. I left my sniper in Tampa because the first time, that was terrible. The first-- I was shooting 18% from 3, man.
MIKE ROACH: It was pretty bad.
CHRIS BOUCHER: That's bricks. Yeah. That's straight bricks. I'm building a house everywhere I go. Yeah, so-- yeah, but then that made me realize that I needed to change. And I had way more abilities, and I was capable of doing a lot more than just shooting the ball.
MIKE ROACH: Why do you think people in general take so long to make change?
CHRIS BOUCHER: Egos.
MIKE ROACH: Egos.
CHRIS BOUCHER: If you can't fight your ego, you're not gonna go anywhere. Your ego makes you do a lot of stuff. Like you know when somebody hits your ego? There's a lot of stuff that you normally wouldn't be affected, but as soon as it hits your ego, you're just reacting to it.
If you can't fight that, it's over. I have a lot of stuff that I do that-- and stuff that I react to, and that's just off my ego. That's-- I don't want my ego to be hurt. But I--
MIKE ROACH: How does your ego develop to that?
CHRIS BOUCHER: When you start realizing what really pissed you off, and when it starts happening a bunch of times. Like let's say every time you bring me water, you don't bring ice, and I hate that. Eventually, I know you're just not gonna bring me ice. So I'm not gonna let that bother me. Next time I see the cup, I know it's not coming with ice. I'm not gonna let it bother me. But if my ego wants ice every time, I'm gonna get mad at you every time you bring it with no ice.
MIKE ROACH: Do you think you sh--
CHRIS BOUCHER: And I think that's-- you guys get where I'm going?
MIKE ROACH: I do understand what you're saying. But are you saying-- do you feel like you should--
CHRIS BOUCHER: Just making sure.
MIKE ROACH: --kind of get rid of the ego? Or is it kind of beneficial to have a bit of an ego?
CHRIS BOUCHER: No, you need it. You can't get rid of it. I'm just saying, you gotta be able to know that sometimes, some situation, your ego has to be lesser than what's going on in the situation. You can't bring it up as strong as everything. Sometimes you're not even part of the situation. You don't know what somebody else is going through.
You know what I'm saying? Like, what if you come here today, and you're not feeling well. But I want you to be laughing and doing all that stuff. That-- you know what I'm saying? I can't force you to do that. And so my ego wants you to be happy here and be happy with me and all that. But if you're going through some stuff, I need to understand that.
MIKE ROACH: Right, right.
CHRIS BOUCHER: Some stuff are just-- you're gonna need to be-- to chill out, take your time, look yourself in the mirror, and say what would I like? Would I like that to happen if it was me? And if the answer is no, then--
MIKE ROACH: So sometimes you do have to make changes in your personality, your ego. What type of changes do you believe will make you a better player in regards to being on the court for next season?
CHRIS BOUCHER: I gotta just get to the next play. I think I got a lot-- I got a big problem with that. Just-- if I ma-- if I'm-- because I've made a lot of mistakes. So-- and got pointed out a lot for it. So when now that I feel like I'm making less mistakes, it's hard for me to not say something when somebody does it.
And I gotta get to that point where mistakes gonna happen. Go to the next one. But I feel like I got so into like trying to be a perfect player that now when somebody make a mistake, I'm all over it. But I need to get better at it.
MIKE ROACH: I think you're a mid-range jumper away from being really--
CHRIS BOUCHER: I don't take mid-range--
MIKE ROACH: --really good.
CHRIS BOUCHER: I don't take mid-range though.
MIKE ROACH: I know you don't.
CHRIS BOUCHER: That's the problem. But honestly, it's not-- it's not--
MIKE ROACH: You're a long-range shooter.
CHRIS BOUCHER: Nah, man, I could drive the ball and do a lot of different stuff. I just gotta-- it's not my time yet. And like I said, it's not required for me yet to do that.
MIKE ROACH: You've been putting the ball on the floor more, though--
CHRIS BOUCHER: When--
MIKE ROACH: --like later on in the season.
CHRIS BOUCHER: When it was required to. When you-- like, playoff basketball, when they close out to you fully, you have to drive. That is required for me. But when in the regular season, they're just lazy and leave me open, I got to shoot it. It's just not required for me to put the ball down.
It's now required me for me to bring the ball all the way full court. When it's Scottie Barnes, Pascal, Fred, and Gary, I could do it. And I understood that. I wanted to do all that. But I understand it's not my role right now.
And I'm doing a really good job just doing everything else. So that doesn't bother me anymore. Like, I've killed that Chris that wanted to-- be all offensive and bring the ball and do all the flashlight. I've realized I could do a lot of flashlight on defense, a lot of stuff that people can't even do, that weren't even thinking I would do it. Jump, contest 3's. Now people think that they know I could block 3's. That's stuff--
MIKE ROACH: Block a lot of 3's.
CHRIS BOUCHER: --you can't do-- you can't do that. That's the same thing.